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Thread: What got you started in astronomy?

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?



    Hi M1tch. Well, I started out with a 3" Tasco Newtonian. But, I'll never forget my first views of the moon. Jupiter was just a tawny yellow ball, with 2 wide brownish yellow stripes across the middle, and the four Galilean moons. But, at time went on, later I got bigger telescopes, and I saw even more details. Well, as I went into retirement recently, I got new equipment, and the astronomy fever just won't end. I think this echoes a lot of older users on here, and thanks for your fun post.
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    Just always have been curious and maybe it's that TV is just too boring. What kind of surprises me is that everyone isn't fascinated by astronomy.

    I saved for months and bought my first telescope at age 39. I was so excited about that telescope and this was well before all the goto scopes and for what you got, it was very expensive. It was cloudy when I picked it up and 4 days later I was diagnosed with an illness that took years to recover from. By the time I recovered, the center mirror in my telescope had fallen off and dropped onto the larger mirror; it had been glued in place! So I had a Meade etx 90 telescope that I'd paid over $500 for that I never got a chance to use even one time before it broke.

    Years later we moved to an area with dark skies, and I decided to try again, and bought my second telescope a Celestron 8se and have been hooked ever since. Couldn't tell you why though, but it keeps me entertained.

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    As a kid was fascinated by the stars, the planets and the Moon. Always looked at the Moon through my parents' 7x50 binoculars whenever I could. And I read and re-read all sorts of astronomy books from the local library and tried to find the constellations shown in them. Even made a crude telescope using two cardboard tubes and two magnifying glass lenses of different sizes (focused it by sliding the smaller tube in and out) which actually worked...not well mind you but it worked.
    The universe just always interested me.
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    In my case, the very first book I read all the way through as a child was about the stars and planets. I think initially I was attracted to the illustrations, but it certainly awakened a spark inside of me. I eventually received a really shakey 3 inch reflector (likely a Gilbert brand) and that was the best thing ever! I was too naive to know it was a piece of junk, and that's ok, because I was in awe it brought things to my eyes that I had never seen before. In time I also received a pair of 7x50 Tasco binoculars. Again, they weren't the best (by a long shot), but I didn't know that. They really opened up low power, widefield observing for me. Anyway, though I've had some periods of inactivity, like Michael mentioned, for family and work, it was never far from my mind. Now it is something I will continue to enjoy first hand until I am no longer physically able to.
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    I'm a child of Apollo.....I was 7, 8, 9 back during the Moon landings. My heroes were the Apollo Astronauts. I had the action figures, vehicle toys: lander, capsule, Saturn V rocket, rover. We lived in Houston at the time as well. When the missions were going on, my friends and I would pretend we were doing moon landings too. We had plastic helmets and pajama type space suits. Our local PBS and independent stations always carried everything NASA would broadcast, so 7-17 was fully covered in the area.

    Astronomy has been a natural extension of space exploration.
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    It was a combination of watching Star Trek the original series reruns and watching Jack Horkheimer Stargazer show on Saturday nights. Every time Jack would come on, I would grab my little Tasco scope run outside as soon as it was over.
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    I was one of the 60s/70s space kids...astronauts were our heroes (still are!) and we wanted to be "out there". Anything to do with space fired me up and when I was about thirteen my Mom found a beautiful 60mm refractor at a Sears clearance center and bought it for me. We didn't have a lot of money so that was a heck of a present. After I left home life and circumstances drew me in different directions for three decades before I made it back again, but I never stopped reading and dreaming about astronomy and space travel

    Clear Skies, Brian
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by m1tch View Post

    Just a simple question, what got you into astronomy/telescopes?
    My Rotary Club gave our outgoing President an Astroscan and after seeing Saturn, I was hooked. I told myself I'd buy a scope and that I should "go slow" and in 2 months I owned a 12" Dob.

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimg@sonic.net View Post
    I told myself I'd buy a scope and that I should "go slow" and in 2 months I owned a 12" Dob.
    Wow, you held off two months? That is one incredibly impressive show of patience.

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcbrown73 View Post
    It was a combination of watching Star Trek the original series reruns and watching Jack Horkheimer Stargazer show on Saturday nights. Every time Jack would come on, I would grab my little Tasco scope run outside as soon as it was over.
    So Khan did you in eh??

    For me it was taking Earth Science in 7th grade. Our teacher taught us about galaxies, and the distances to them. He then told us Andromeda would collide with our own galaxy we lived in. The unit was really short but it made me very curious about all of this stuff. Naturally this sparked my curiosity. I remember using google quite a bit and saw Globular Star Clusters that blew my mind away! Since then they have always been my favorite DSO's. I usually used astronomy wall papers, and my first semester of college I needed to take a physical science credit. Introduction to Astronomy was right when I needed it! I took the opportunity. The Textbook was amazing and very easy to read. I loved every second of it and helped my classmates as much as I could. One assignment was to go to the observatory and sketch 5 things you saw. Well you only had to go once but I went every single time. I was obsessed. When I returned home from college, I simply typed in 'Telescope' to amazon.com. I had no idea you could just buy one! Celestron Star was the first thing that appeared. I was hooked. I bought a 4 SE once I earned enough money. It came broken and I sent it back for a refund. Before I bought the next one my grandpa told me the more aperture I had the happier I would be. So I saved even more until I got a NexStar 8 SE 1.5 years ago. I have now sold that mount and just barely moved onto the Advanced VX with the 6" and 8" Newtonians along with the 8 SE Cassegrain OTA. That is how it started for me.

    I also am obsessed with optics. I have some really nice rifle scopes. Now that I am into telescope the optical designs are incredible. I marvel over them. I want one of each type really badly. The Maksutov-Newtownian is awesome, I really want one of those now haha the passion is a money pit which sucks.

    This book is awesome

    Explorations: Introduction to Astronomy: Thomas Arny, Stephen Schneider: 9780077345099: Amazon.com: Books

 

 
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